Rafa Nadal will have no problem seeing Novak Djokovic take part in Grand Slams if he can do so unvaccinated.
Djokovic has not yet taken any of the available vaccines against Covid-19 and looks unlikely to do so, meaning his participation in the next Grand Slam of the year at Roland Garros looks in doubt given current regulations in France.
But if the Serb can find a way to enter there or the following majors at Wimbledon or the US Open, Nadal - though clear in his own mind that vaccination is the way out of the pandemic - is prepared to welcome his old rival back into the pack.
Wimbledon
'I hope I can come back one more time' - Federer confirms intention to return to Wimbledon
2 HOURS AGO
Nadal, speaking in Acapulco where he plays Denis Kudla in the first round on Tuesday, said: "It will affect Novak's [Grand Slam] history if he can't play.
"It will affect him, not the Grand Slams themselves.
"Whoever wins the most Slams - it will be what it will be. Everyone takes their own decisions and must live with them.
"In that sense, hopefully the pandemic subsides and we stop having so many deaths around the world and this horror ends, and we can return to normality - not for Novak but for the world in general.
"There are many people that have suffered, but if Novak can play the Grand Slams unvaccinated, then he is welcome."
Nadal became the first male player to reach 21 Grand Slams by winning the Australian Open in January, but he does not admit to feeling any different.
He said: "Absolutely nothing has changed having 21 slams, I won't lie to you.
"From 20 to 21 there is not a very large difference. Life goes on exactly the same. The only thing that has changed is that now I play tennis, which a few months ago I couldn't.
"I am very happy for everything that happened in Australia, it was very unexpected, especially before the tournament started. In my life, nothing has changed. No title is going to change what is important in my life, which are other things.
"Already, at 35 years old, I have a lot of experiences behind me, of successes and bad moments and these sensations already help me to live in a more calm and different way."
Djokovic meanwhile is playing at this week's Dubai Tennis Championships, given the UAE do not stipulate travellers have to be vaccinated to enter the country. The Serb faces Lorenzo Musetti in the first round on Monday.
- - -
The Olympic Games will return with Paris 2024, live on Eurosport and discovery+.
Wimbledon
'Not spicy at all' - Nadal cruises into last 16, apologises for contentious Sonego net chat
19 HOURS AGO
Wimbledon
‘Are you dumb?’ - Kyrgios demands Tsitsipas default for hitting ball into the ‘f******’ crowd
20 HOURS AGO